Review: One Mad Night Anthology by Julia London

one mad night

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together-oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

Review: Julia London is an author I love to read. In this book, I really enjoyed Chelsea and Ian as a couple. They were competitive, and tried to one-up each other all the time, but they weren’t nasty about it. They played fair which was sexy. Even when the outcomes weren’t what one or the other wanted they would use the defeat to push forward and do better next time. Their chemistry sparkled and as I read I wanted them to hurry up and kiss already! Good thing they get snowed-in because it gave them both the push they needed to succeed at love.

The two leads were very likable. Ian had a very strong sense of right and wrong. He likes to win but he doesn’t like to win by default or get handed things. Chelsea wasn’t whiny. She had a lot of dignity and high standards.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all

Review: This book was not in the digital ARC I received.

Buy: One Mad Night: A Novella

Get into bed with Julia London (a delicious author interview) to learn more about the author and this book in particular!

Get into Bed with Julia London (Author Interview)

one mad nightKeira: One of the things I liked best about your rivals romance One Mad Night was that the hero and heroine played fair and it was still fun! Was fair play important to you and why was it important to the romance?

Julia London: To a point, yes.  The novella is short, so if the hero did something unfair (and it would be the hero, right?), there is not really enough time to redeem him.  And honestly, I think rivals can play fair.  It’s healthy competition that makes for healthy relationship.  I sound like a psychologist.

Keira: What made you decide they were competing over a car ad?

Julia: I thought that sort of ad would be a good and natural tension, because car ads seem to slanted toward men or women.  I noticed minivan ads are all about mom and the kids, and then the luxury cars are all about hip, handsome men. Figures!

Keira: What is your favorite part about snowed-in / isolated / desert / intimate (this subgenre goes by a lot of names!) romances?

Julia: That no one can escape.  The characters have to deal.  No one can run away and talk to friends or think, or pull any of that.  They are stuck.  Delicious!

Keira: What do you love best about writing historical/contemporary romances? 

Julia: Well, I love to read good love stories.  I love to watch them on the big screen.  So I guess I am naturally drawn to them.  I love establishing the male and female leads and their first real notice of each other.  It’s always fun to see where it will go after that.

Keira: Your characters always have such lovely chemistry with each other. What to you makes two characters rub along and create sparks?

Julia: Thank you!  That’s a wonderful compliment.  In high school, we did this play about a couple on a train.  I can’t remember the name of it, but what I remember is that it was my first conscious comprehension of the emotional differences between men and women.  Men want everything to be uncomplicated and unemotional, and women are incapable of leaving everything black and white.  It’s fun to push and pull those two dynamics.

Keira: How do you define love? How do you recognize your true love? What makes it last in the long run and not fizzle out?

Julia: In books or in real life?  Mutual respect and admiration is love.  What makes it last in the long run is appreciation and listening.  I think men and women can put up with a lot if they feel they are heard and appreciated by the ones they love.

Keira: What makes a steamy and sexy sex scene?

Julia: For me, the anticipation and sexual tension is steamier than the actual sex scene.  It’s a problem for me as a writer.  Some readers really like graphic sex.  I really like the build up to the actual depiction.  I have to straddle those and find a happy medium.

Keira: If not for writing, what would be your dream job? “Big business” job?

Julia: Writing is my dream job!  I’ve had the big business jobs before.  I would love to learn how to write screen plays, but there is only so much time, you know?

Keira: What is the hardest part and the most fun part of writing?

Julia: The hardest part of writing is actually writing.  I want each book to be better than the last, so I keep raising the bar for myself.  Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.  But I have to challenge myself to try new things and execute them well.  The most fun part of writing is meeting fans.  I work alone and I don’t know how my books may or may not speak to a reader.  So when I meet them in person and they are so complimentary and sometimes even moved my meeting me, it makes every moment spent alone with a stinky dog, tossing out everything I wrote the day before and trying again very much worth it!

Keira: What are you working on for us next?

Julia: I have the next two books in my historical Cabot Sisters series (The Devil Takes a Bride and The Scoundrel and the Debutante) coming out in late January and late April, respectively.  The Perfect Homecoming, the third book in my contemporary Pine River series, is coming out in February.  I am currently writing a book about rich summer people and the inevitable conflicts with the year round residents at a lake resort.  I just started it, but you know some worlds are going to collide!

One Mad Night Anthology
By Julia London

Two Romantic Adventures…One Mad Night

Two delightful contemporary romance novellas in one book from New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Julia London.

One winter’s night a blizzard sweeps across the country, demonstrating that fate can change the course of lives in an instant…and fate has got a sense of humor.

One Mad Night

Chelsea Crawford and Ian Rafferty are high profile ad execs in cutthroat competition for a client. When a major winter storm puts New York City on lockdown, the two rivals have to make it through the night together—oh, the many ways in which opposites attract…

The Bridesmaid – Bonus Novella

RITA Award Nominee for Best Romance Novella of 2013

Kate Preston has just moved to New York. Joe Firretti is contemplating a move to Seattle. When the weather wreaks havoc with transportation systems, Kate and Joe meet as they are both trying to rent the last car available… As Kate races to make her best friend’s wedding, and Joe races to a life-altering job interview, it looks like together is the only way they’ll make it at all.

Praise for Julia London:

“London knows how to keep pages turning…winningly fresh and funny.” —Publishers Weekly, on RITA Award nominee The Bridesmaid

Buy: One Mad Night

About the Author

Julia London is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of more than thirty novels, including the Homecoming Ranch contemporary series, the Secrets of Hadley Green historical romance series, and numerous other works. She is a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA Award for excellence in romantic fiction, and RT Bookclub award recipient for Best Historical Romance.  She lives in Austin, Texas.

Connect with Julia London:

www.julialondon.com  | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Excerpt from One Mad Night by Julia London

It took a moment for Chelsea to notice him, which gave Ian a moment to admire her. He was going to crush her tomorrow, but that didn’t stop him from appreciating a figure that guys like him dreamed about. Chelsea was wearing a skirt today. It hit about mid-thigh and was tight enough to show off all her curves. She looked a bit taller today too. He glanced at her feet and noticed the shoes. Chelsea was walking on stilts, and her legs, good God, her legs. She was smoking hot in that dress and those shoes.

“Hey!” she said sharply, her voice full of accusation.

Ian’s head snapped up. “Hey,” he said con-genially. “Practicing your pitch?” He settled one hip onto the conference table.

“Do you mind?” She gestured to the door in a be-­off-­with-­you way.

“If you want, I could listen and give you some feedback.”

Chelsea’s mouth dropped open. And then her green eyes narrowed into little slits. “You have got to be the most arrogant man I’ve ever met.”

Ian smiled and shrugged.

“You can go, Ian,” she said, marching around the conference table to usher him out. “I think I’ve got it.”

“Suit yourself.”

“I will.”

“So hostile,” he said with a wink as he stood up. “I’m just trying to help. It never hurts for someone to hear the pitch, right? You’ve had someone listen to you go through it, right?”

“Yes, I’ve had—­Hey, hey,” she said, poking him in the chest. “Are you trying to play me?” she demanded. “Because it won’t work. I’m not some junior account person, you know. You can’t intimidate me.”

“Well, obviously,” Ian said and poked her back. “You wouldn’t be pitching at all if you were a junior account person. I know I can’t intimidate you. It wasn’t a declaration of war, you know; it was an offer to help.”

“It wasn’t a let-­me-­help, best-­friends-­forever offer, either. I’m not playing games with you. This account means a lot to me—­”

“Me too.”

“Oh yeah?” she said, shifting closer. “Well, don’t get too attached to the idea. I’ve got seniority, you know.”

“So why are you so afraid to show me what you’ve got?”

“Because it’s none of your business.”

“On the eve of the championship, it’s okay to go out and shoot some hoops with your competitor. It’s not going to affect tomorrow’s big game. It’s not like I can go out and change weeks of work overnight if I see you’ve got something better.”

She laughed. “Good try, Rafferty, but I think maybe the reason you want to see my pitch is because you’re worried about the strength of your pitch. Is it a little rough? Maybe I should listen to you.” She winked, and her green eyes shone with pleasure at her comeback.

“I’m definitely not worried about my pitch.”

“No? Seems to me if you’re presenting three,” she said, holding up three fingers and wiggling them at him, “then you must be uncertain which one is the winner.” Her smile broadened into sheer triumph, as if she thought she’d really zinged him.

She hadn’t zinged him, but Ian did wonder how she knew what he had…Zach. Of course. That rat bastard. “Have you been talking to Zimmerman?” he asked accusingly.

She shrugged and studied her manicure. “Maybe. Does it matter? I thought we were doing the let’s-­help-­each-­other thing. But if we’re not, would you mind toddling off? I have a lot of work I need to do before tomorrow. I plan to hit the ground running with this account on Monday.”

She was amazingly and annoyingly confident. Ian was generally a confident guy, but she was making him a teensy bit nervous. “You really think you’re going to get this, don’t you?”

“I don’t think, I know,” she said, looking up.

He tilted his head to one side to study her. “Isn’t it obvious to you why they brought me in?”

“I don’t know—­I haven’t given it the slightest bit of thought.” She lifted her chin, and Ian realized she lied about as well as she engaged in verbal volleyball. “I’ve been promised that this account is as good as mine. Didn’t they tell you that when they brought you in?”

A bit more of Ian’s confidence leaked out of him. He’d been in New York advertising long enough to know that the industry was full of snakes. He wouldn’t put it past anyone to feed him a bunch of half-­baked promises to get him to commit. “Who told you?”

She grinned. “None of your beeswax.”

“Come on, tell me—­” His phone rang, distracting him momentarily. He fished it out of his pocket and noticed the number was the Grabber-­Paulson main number. That was weird. “Listen, I’ll just say this,” he said, clicking off the phone. “Don’t be so sure of things. People say things they don’t mean, especially in this industry.” He started for the door.

“Uh-­huh, I know. And I would offer you the same advice, Mr. Rafferty,” she said in a singsong voice, and she flashed a dazzling smile, full of straight white teeth.

“Cocky too. I like that about you,” he said. “I’ll keep it in mind when I make partner.” He winked at her, smiled as if he was completely unbothered, and went out of the conference room.

Buy: One Mad Night

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Review: The Trouble with Honor (Cabot Sisters, Book 1) by Julia London

9780373778454_prdHeroine: Honor Cabot, a favorite of the ton, knows she is in a pickle. Their stepbrother’s social-climbing fiancée is Honor’s once-friend turned nemesis. Honor doesn’t know who would make her an acceptable husband so she makes a bargain with a rogue in order to gain the time she needs. If he can successfully seduce the Monica so that her stepbrother’s wedding is stalled or canceled, she will have a chance to secure her ailing mother and younger sisters.

Hero: George Easton is the illegitimate son of a duke who is now dead. Like his father, his half-brother also refuses to acknowledge him. He might be reluctant to play charming seducer, but Honor knows his price. First things first though… he’s not considered acceptable. Somehow he’s got to be invited into polite society. The more time he spends with Honor the less he wishes to woo the fiancée.

Review: Honor is a mischievous devil-may-care young lady with an impeccable reputation she doesn’t deserve. She first meets George when she convinces her young male admirers to bring her and a few other young ladies to a gaming club. She sits down at George’s gaming table and challenges him to play… and ends up winning all his money before he knew what hit him. I quite liked her feistiness. I’m glad the George calls Honor on her horrible plan and labels it selfish and cruel to both parties… if only he could afford not to play along with it. His efforts are thankfully, minimal. On a personal level, I could have done without Honor’s mother steadily loosing her mind. There is one thing, I do question though… How come the earl’s death leads to Honor’s scheme in the first place? How can a loving stepfather/husband be unwilling or incapable of securing enough sums for his soon-to-be widow and stepdaughters? Especially if he didn’t fully trust his besotted son/fiancée?

Rating: ★★★☆☆

Buy: The Trouble with Honor

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Giveaway: Trouble with Honor by Julia London

9780373778454_prd Book Blurb: Desperate times call for daring measures as Honor Cabot, the eldest stepdaughter of the wealthy Earl of Beckington, awaits her family’s ruin. Upon the earl’s death she and her sisters stand to lose the luxury of their grand home—and their place on the pedestal of society—to their stepbrother and his social-climbing fiancée. Forced to act quickly, Honor makes a devil’s bargain with the only rogue in London who can seduce her stepbrother’s fiancée out of the Cabots’ lives for good.

An illegitimate son of a duke, George Easton was born of scandal and grows his fortune through dangerous risks. But now he and Honor are dabbling in a perilous dance of seduction that puts her reputation and his jaded heart on the line. And as unexpected desire threatens to change the rules of their secret game, the stakes may become too high even for a notorious gambler and a determined, free-spirited debutante to handle.

Buy: The Trouble with Honor (Hqn)

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Giveaway: One winner will receive a copy of The Trouble with Honor and a deck of playing cards. I just got a review copy of the book last Friday and it’s great so far! I loved the opening scene in the gambling den (which explains the playing cards!) Open to US and CAN readers. To enter, please leave a comment sharing your absolute favorite card game and/or the funniest bet you’ve ever won or lost! Last day to enter is Fri. March 14, 2014…. A winner has been selected. Please refer to comments. Thanks for playing!

About Julia: 

Julia London is the New York Times,  USA Today, and Publisher’s Weekly best selling author of more than a twenty romantic fiction novels. She is the author of the popular Desperate Debutante and Scandalous historical romance series, including the upcoming The Last Debutante, the fourth and final book in the Secrets of Hadley Green series. She is also the author of several contemporary women’s fiction novels with strong romantic elements, including Summer of Two Wishes, One Season of Sunshine, and Light at Winter’s End. Julia is the recipient of the RT Bookclub Award for Best Historical Romance and a four-time finalist for the prestigious RITA award for excellence in romantic fiction. She lives in Austin, Texas.

Julia’s website: http://julialondon.com/about/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JuliaFLondon
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JuliaLondon

Buy: The Trouble with Honor (Hqn)

Review: Summer of Two Wishes by Julia London

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I spent two days reading another bite your nails love triangle romance… I am such a glutton for punishment!

Of course, I cheated before starting. When it comes to Love Triangles, Jennifer Haymore changed my tune about spoilers. Now I am all for reading the last chapter to find out who gets with whom. Are you the same way or do you like to be spoiler free? Don’t worry I won’t share who wins the girl.

So once I knew who the ultimate hero was I started the book and immediately liked both heroes. Oh no! Like with the rejected man from A Hint of Wicked, I hope the rejected man from a Summer of Two Wishes gets his story too!

What’s fun about the Summer of Two Wishes, is that it’s a contemporary love triangle with a similar set up to A Hint of Wicked only this time the laws surrounding the situation are known. Even though they’re known, our heroine is still in for a hard decision!

Macy was desperately in love with her husband Finn Lockhart. She begged him not to join the army and go fight in Iraq but he was adamant that he would. Macy waited on tenterhooks for his safe return, but that was not to be the case. When officers came to her door with charred dog tags and their condolences, Macy’s world fell apart.

It takes a strong secure man to pull her out of her grief. His name is Wyatt Clark. They fall in love, get married and are celebrating their newlywed status (seven months) by trying to get pregnant and start their family. Life is good and Wyatt believes he’s the luckiest man alive until…

Finn Lockhart is recovered by Coalition forces and on his way home to reclaim his land and his wife. It’s a miracle, a dream come true and a nightmare all rolled in one.

Macy is now in what is called a putative marriage. She must dissolve one marriage by divorce (her’s and Finn’s) or by filing suit to declare one void (her’s and Wyatt’s). How is she ever going to pick between her past love and her new love?

Julia London does an absolutely incredible job putting together this contemporary love triangle. I love the settings, the heroes, the heroine, and the peripheral characters… yes even Finn’s mom!

Rating: 4.5 Stars.

Buy: Summer of Two Wishes

Review: Highlander in Love by Julia London

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Highlander in Love is one of the sweetest, most delightful romances I have had the pleasure to read. Julia London spins a masterful tale that weaves the magic of Scotland into your heart. The intimate scenes between Payton and Mared are thrillingly sensual and are on a scale of not to hot, super hot. Highlander in Love combines all of the genre’s standard plots in a delightful new way.

Payton Douglas, Laird of Eilean Ros, has two hobbies: sheep raising, whiskey brewing. He has been in love with Mared Lockhart for years, the vibrant young woman from the castle Talla Dileas on the other side of the mountain. She does not hold any affection for him at all as he’s a Douglas, the enemy, the man she believes who brought destitution down on the heads of her family.

Mared has a curse upon her, one that has lived in the family for hundreds of years with devastating consequences. No daughter of a Lockhart will ever marry until she looks into the belly of the devil. Those that try to wed find themselves dead or their lovers dead. Separated from the rest of the lochs because of this curse, Mared grew into a young vivacious woman with a lot of sass. Payton finds her irresistible.

However, the Lockharts’ are in dire straights. With the introduction of sheep to the lochs, cows were not bringing in the money they’d used to bring. A large loan of 3,000 pounds was extended by Payton to Mared’s father with her hand in marriage as collateral should they fail to pay the loan back in a year.

Then the scoundrel Hugh MacAlister stole the beastie from the Lockharts, leaving them without a way to repay Douglas. But Mared won’t marry a Douglas! Determined to bring Miss Beitris Crowley into Payton’s esteem, Mared hopes that he’ll offer for Beitris instead. But Payton won’t be deterred, and in desperation Mared breaks off the betrothal.

Out of the frying pan and into the fire. Wounded by her refusal, Payton lashes out and demands that the loan be paid, as agreed upon the collateral of Mared’s promise. He forces Mared into his house as a housekeeper. But she vows to never serve him.

Packed full of wonderful dialogue and scenes, this is just the tip of the iceberg with Highlander in Love. Payton is the new Mr. Darcy; composed, misunderstood, passionate, wealthy, and desperately lonely. How will he overcome Mared’s hate of the Douglas clan and see his way to a future built on the glimmering foundation of dreams?

Rating: ★★★★★

Buy: Highlander in Love

3 Book Giveaway: A Light at Winter’s End by Julia London

About A Light at Winter’s End:

Holly Fisher opens her door one day and finds her estranged sister Hannah standing there with a glassy look and her nine-month old baby on her hip. Before Holly knows what is happening, Hannah has left her baby with Holly and disappeared. Three months later, fresh out of rehab for addiction to painkillers, Hannah shows up sober, contrite, and wanting her son back. But Holly is in love with the baby and not willing to give him up to the mother who abandoned him.

Into the middle of this extraordinary conflict between two sisters walks a lonesome cowboy, Wyatt Clark (Summer of Two Wishes) who knows a thing or two about childcare and fractured families. He’s had his own troubles and has stayed away from women the last couple of years, but he can’t resist Holly and the baby. But when Holly is delivered a devastating blow and returns the baby to his mother, Holly is too distraught to continue her relationship with Wyatt. It will take an extraordinary turn from Hannah to bring Holly and Wyatt together so that they both may find the happiness that has eluded them.

Buy: A Light at Winter’s End

GIVEAWAY: I have 3 copies of Julia London’s A Light at Winter’s End to giveaway. Open to US readers and addresses ;) (No P.O. Boxes.) How to Enter: 1 entry for every legit comment on this post. 1 entry for being a fan or becoming a fan of the Facebook Page and another 1 for liking and/or commenting on the link to this giveaway on the FB page. (You’ll know you did it right if your name appears.) Make sure to tell me about your extra entries! Last day to enter: February 27, 2011.

Review: The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount by Julia London

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Lady Phoebe Fairchild is in a pickle. Mrs. Ramsey is blackmailing her. The awful woman has guessed her biggest secret– that she is Madame Dupree, the French modiste, whose fashion creations are the talk of the ton. In exchange for not exposing her secret and ruining her reputation Phoebe must go to Wentworth Hall. Immediately.

The fantastical experience she had imagined for herself was not living up to the reality. Ladies Alice and Jane are the most ill behaved women of quality Phoebe has ever met. They constantly bickered and goaded one another. Neither one of them listened to her and treated her as the very lowest of servants.

William Darby, was the one bright spot. Lord Summerfield intrigued her. This man who had traveled the world, bore a tattoo from India, and could tame wild horses thrilled her beyond imaginings. Here was a man that evoked fever in her blood, the very fever her mother had talked about, but Phoebe feared would never find her. The more she came to know him, the harder it was to tell the truth. Why he had said lies and those who purposefully deceived were the only things he could not abide or tolerate! She could not bear it if he hated her.

Will hated being home. If it was not one thing with his family, it was another; Alice fantasized herself in love with a smithy, his brother thieved and whored about, and his father was mute and parallelized from a seizure. He knew he had come home too late and despite the chafing of the polite society, Will was determined to do his father proud and uphold the family honor. He would do his duties as heir and older brother to the best of his abilities. That unfortunately included finding a bride.

The bummer crop of women that paraded by him day and night, he found not one woman that stirred his passion. Madame Phoebe Dupree, the seamstress he had hired on to outfit his sisters stirred his blood in a way no woman abroad or at home had ever done. He found utterly enchanting. His thought constantly pulled in her direction. The troubles of his family could not distract him for long, not even Joshua’s insolent ways and fierce determination to ruin the family name.

But how could he marry Phoebe, even if he loved her, when Caroline Fitzherbert was more the wife that he needed? It would all be so different if Phoebe were of quality. Why if she were, all of his problems would be solved.

In the end I found The Dangers of Deceiving a Viscount by Julia London was a sweet and engaging romance story. I found the love scenes lacking however. They were too short and not overly descriptive. Not the worse I’ve encountered by far, but in the middle of such a tender story it’s a little too lukewarm for the passion I was expecting… craving.

Rating: 3 Stars